Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Well...

Well. What can I say? I had some hopes and they were not realized. Since this is rather the norm, I don't feel too bad. At least not today. I will say that Monday wasn't the best. The little history of texting went something like this--on Sunday evening, a first salvo, "hiya." No response. Some time later, it seemed like he was typing; I saw that little ellipses on the screen. So I said, "Seems like you are typing. Is something wrong?" No answer. An hour later I wrote again (I know), "I hope everything is ok. Have a good night." Then I went to sleep. It was a little hard falling asleep, but the rest of the night was calm.

In the morning, though, I felt pretty bad. I couldn't understand why I hadn't heard from him. The three unanswered messages were the only time in the last week that he hadn't responded to me. I'd only ever initiated conversations with him three times so the whole thing didn't make sense. Why, all of a sudden would he go dark? Even in our chats, he'd apologize for long silences and explain he was in a meeting or someone had stopped by to talk to him. That was unnecessary, but kind. Someone who was that considerate, you wouldn't expect to disappear altogether. Some kind of explanation would be forthcoming.

So, Monday. I texted one last time around noon. I said he didn't owe me an explanation but that I hoped he was ok. That I would like to know what happened, but regardless, I had great fun meeting him. That was it. No reply.

Since then, no text, no call, no word, no nothing.  It seems bizarre to think that something I did or said scared him off. Sure, I could've just waited to hear from him but I hardly think I was being pushy. By Sunday, I did feel anxious and worried and very unhappy. It hurt that he hadn't reached out to me and it hurt even more that he didn't even bother to respond. Even saying he couldn't talk or had changed his mind would've helped. Yes, I would've been disappointed, but the pain would've been less.

I hope he's not actually ill or injured. That possibility keeps me from sending an angry or sarcastic message--and trust me, it's tempting. It's also tempting to call, but I suppose he wouldn't answer and it's not like I"m going to leave a message.

Right now, today, I don't feel sad and I'm not in pain. But boy oh boy am I curious. If he would tell me what happened, would I want to know? Does he know? What the heck went on here?  It is a shame because it's been a long time since I had so much fun with someone and I wanted to see if we would continue to connect. I guess we won't.

I will say, I don't see how my actions are at fault here. Even though I committed the cardinal sins of not letting him text me first this one time and sending him more than one message without getting a response, I don't think that's why he stopped communicating with me. Something else happened and it had already happened before I sent him the first message on Sunday. I can't read his mind, so I don't suppose I'll ever find out what it was. What I can say is that it hurt way more than it should've for such a short acquaintance. But that's how I feel and process things and that's not wrong either.

Grateful for: quick recovery times.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cleaning

I decided to host some AirBnB guests during my upcoming trip and in preparation, I decided to clean the house this weekend. I did rather more "deep cleaning" than was strictly required. First, I dusted, which I do very rarely. Ugh. Then I washed the fronts of the kitchen cabinets, something I've never done. Not quite as disgusting as the dusting.  Then I cleaned the mirrors in the bathroom and scrubbed the tub and tile. I vacuumed the floors, rugs, and sofas. Today, I'll sweep and mop the bathroom. I dusted the ceiling fans.  Today, I really got down to business. I scrubbed the baseboards in the kitchen including under the sink, dishwasher, range, and bottom of the cabinets. Then I mopped the kitchen floor. I also had to move my fridge around in an attempt to solve the issue of getting it level.

I keep the fridge out in the back room and the floor of that room has a distinct slope. I've had the fridge on a piece of plywood the whole time it's been out there, but it's still been an issue. This week, I bought a larger piece of plywood to make it easier to position the fridge. I also decided to level it before placing the fridge on it. Doing it that way would actually make it a one-person job and maybe even correct the door's tendency to fall off. Turns out the edge of the board needed to be raised an inch in order to get to level. That is a really steep slope! Anyway, I managed to level the board, move the fridge off the current board on to some scrap boards, position the new board, and then roll the fridge up onto the new level position. While it would've been helpful to have a second pair of hands, I got some satisfaction from doing the whole thing myself.

I also decided to take a look at the back of the fridge, which seemed to be gathering quite a bit of dust. I unscrewed the piece of cardboard fastened to the back and inside I found--the motor and fan! Completely covered in cat-hair enhanced dust. Ugh. I checked the internet to see if or how I should go about cleaning it. The internet was in favor and people were using brushes and a vacuum. I didn't have a brush, but I vacuumed all around and used my hands and a cloth to get at the rest.  A weirdly satisfying job.  The fridge was working just fine but maybe now it will work even better?

Before
After
It's kind of ridiculous how dirty I let the house get. I really need to get over myself and hire someone to help me clean this place. Once or twice a month would be enough to keep it in decent shape and I wouldn't have to kill myself if want to have people over.

I still have a few bits to take care of, but I'm mostly done. There is laundry, per usual. There are sheets and blankets and pillows to set out for the guests. There is a box full of semi-valuable stuff to hide in a closet. The house will be ready and then it will be time for me to pack. I don't even want to think about that yet. I'll be gone for about ten days. It's been my habit to use a backpack type Tom Bihn bag for travel, even of this length. But I think I'm going to use my old rolling bag for this trip and bring a backpack for my everyday bag. We'll see how it goes.

And...here is the dating update! I cannot believe I wrote that whole boring thing about house cleaning (or my house cleaning failures?) when all I really want to do is talk about a boy.

There is nothing of substance to tell, but I won't let that stop me. We kept up a lively texting conversation for most of the week. Most of our conversations so far have been initiated by him, so I feel pretty good about that. I'm not sure why, but I found the texting slightly troubling. Not because of the content--it was good to be in touch with him and he's funny and clever. Something about it made me a little nervous. I realized that when there was a long pause, I would be in anticipation of a response, even when I didn't have time to carry on a real conversation. I started to put some brakes on, letting him know when I was too busy to chat. That helped a little. What I really wanted was to talk to him on the phone, but the one time I suggested it, he was too tired. That was ok though a little awkward.  This weekend, his sister and her family are staying with him, visiting from out of town. On Friday, I started to feel a little anxious because we still don't have plans to get together. I leave town early Thursday morning. Wednesday will be impossible due to the way I pack (always at the last minute!).  If we get together before my trip, it has to be Monday or Tuesday. I wanted to say that to him, but somehow I couldn't bring myself to come right out with it. Instead, I confessed to a bit of anxiousness about the uncertainty of when we'd meet again.  He said, "...anxious I can deal with." I sure hope so, 'cause you ain't seen nothing yet.

I'm not in my full blown anxiety state, but I'm on the edge. Yesterday (Saturday), I texted him a hello in the morning. He said he was out and about with his family. I said, "sounds good!" and I haven't heard from him since. I didn't expect to hear from him Saturday, though I admit I thought he might text in the evening.  When he didn't, I felt ok, but a little on edge. Today, it's mid-afternoon and nothing. I suspect I'll hear from him when his family leaves town and he has a minute to relax. But if I don't hear from him today, how are we to make plans for tomorrow or Tuesday? And that's when I start to go slightly off the rails. Does this mean he changed his mind? Has he decided he doesn't want to see me? Did I say something wrong?

That's the thing, what if the answer to all those questions were "yes"? Let's spin this all the way out. He did change his mind, he doesn't want to see me, and it's all because of something I said. So what? He gets to change his mind. He isn't required to see me. And if I managed to put him off this easily, and inadvertently, then it wasn't going to work out anyway.  I don't need any reasons. I'm not interested in reading his mind or changing it. If I weren't to hear from him again, I would be sad. Probably disproportionately sad, but I would also get over it. Per usual.

Here's the other thing--besides cleaning like a mad person, I also forced myself to go out on Saturday evening. I got a bite to eat and saw a movie. Now, doing this alone on Saturday night isn't for everyone but I'm fine with it. On Thursday, I went to a happy hour and spent the whole time talking to a dude (no numbers were exchanged). On Friday, I went to a different happy hour/goodbye party, and talked to lots of people. So, Saturday, it was fine to be on my own. Yet, going out on my own and wishing I were on a date with one particular person was way sadder and lonelier than just being out on my own.

Today, Sunday, in between the cleaning, I took myself out for a nice brunch at my favorite restaurant. This afternoon, I'm invited to a friend's for a get-together. This week has been happy and social for me overall. And the guy has been generally a plus to my mood. I just wish I could forget about him for the moment and stop worrying about when the next text will come. The lack of plans is designed to drive me mad. Maybe I'll text him after I get home from my party.

Sigh. I was hoping to avoid this altogether, but it's still me. What can you do?

Grateful for: a reason to clean the house.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Jinx

I'm not really sure where to start. I don't want to go into a lot of detail because, gun shy, but I met someone I really like. When I say like, that's exactly what I mean. Sure, I find him attractive, but the connection is operating on a deeper level than that. Goofy much?

I have to say this upfront--I have no idea what's going to happen. It may "work out," it may not. We might have a short run...we might have a long run. We might have no run at all. I don't know and I'm not sure. I had a flash of that feeling of certainty when I first met him. I felt very sure. But I've felt that way in the past and what I've learned is 1) I love that feeling and 2) it's an illusion often based on lies (either ones I'm telling myself or lies from the guy in question). What's interesting is that I had that flash, but then it evaporated. I'm going to count that as a good thing. You can't know anything much after meeting someone once.  But you can know if there is something to build on, and we definitely have that.

Years ago, I wrote an epically long post about an epically long date called "kickball pays off" (count me too lazy to link).  The post documented a very long accidental first date that went from chatting at the kickball tournament, to dinner, drinks, movies, more drinks, startling revelations, and a little kissing. What followed was traumatic dating of a separated-but-not-divorced man. The writing was on the wall from the get-go, but I ignored it. I was swept up because he was so attentive and insistent, at least in the beginning. And he was fun and easy to be around. But obviously, it didn't work out.

This weekend, I had a similarly long date. It was planned (I met him online), but parts of it were unexpected.  We met in a mutually convenient (or inconvenient--more on that later) place. We were going to take a walk but weather and an outrageously crowded mall foiled that plan. Instead, he suggested a nearby restaurant, where we sat and talked for three hours. Now, I've had unenjoyable two-hour dates. Some perhaps lasted longer while I couldn't figure out how to end things. But this date? I didn't even notice the time going by. We zinged along, talking, joking, getting to know each other. It was so easy talking to him and so much fun--we could've gone on quite a bit longer. Around 6:30 (the three hour mark) he said something about going to the (Orioles) baseball game.  I said, "who's playing." He paused for a second and said, "the Mariners." Oh. He said, "Should we...should we go to the game?"  I said, "We should go to the game." And we did.

The inconvenient part is that he lives quite far away from me--north of Baltimore. An hour plus drive. Of course, I know that doesn't make it impossible.  It also acts as natural break--and perhaps a deterrent to flights of fancy. Given the distance and the necessity of planning, it's almost impossible to rush things. In the meantime, we're keeping up a friendly but not constant text conversation. Maybe we'll talk on the phone some evening too. Due to scheduling conflicts it will be more than a week before I see him again. At most I will see him once before I head to the west coast for ten days starting in mid-August.

The strangest part is the complete lack of anxiety I've had so far. He stays in touch. It's easy.  We tried to make plans, it's not easy. I have the tiniest twinge because we can't meet this week. His weekend is completely booked with family so I offered to come up mid-week. He had one night free but was thinking about it. It occurred to me today that it might be too much to ask him to spend his one free weeknight with me before hosting his sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces for the entire weekend. So, this morning I told him maybe we should try for next week. Basically, I let him off the hook. I knew he'd feel bad saying no. I knew I would hate to hear him say no, so I preemptively called it off. I was worried that he would think I wasn't interested, but he seemed to understand. As today wore on, it was hard for me not to say something like, "sure you don't want me to come up?" but so far I've resisted. I could spin that as a joke, but I think we all know it's not funny or a joke. So I'm not saying it. And I can wait. I think he's worth it. But even if he's not, I have plenty to entertain me in the meantime. Per usual.  I cannot account for my lack of anxiety or weird obsessive thinking otherwise. Maybe it's how we got along, maybe I've finally learned something. Maybe it's a combination. Whatever it is, I'm relieved.

Grateful for: the future.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Time off

I took yesterday as a sick day. Maybe it was more a mental health day? I kept things running by email, but didn't look anything up and mostly let my staff fend for themselves. I was so tired--again! But this time I think I let the weekend overwhelm me. I did a 20 mile bike ride on Saturday--then spent the rest of the day puttering around the house. On Sunday, I did my volunteer thing again--it's for a bike co-op and I help people fix their bikes. It's really satisfying. But it meant I was outside from around 10:30-2:00pm, perspiring freely. I think I was dehydrated and that's why I was so tired. Maybe? Whatever it was, I don't care. Staying home yesterday felt so good. I was really lazy and just knit and watched tv all day. Perfect. I did go out for a walk in the early evening. The wind was coming up and the sky was lovely. I walked slowly and marveled at all the people out on my local business street. It's just unbelievable. A Monday night, bars and restaurants well-populated, lots of foot traffic...this place is almost unrecognizable.

Murry's is part of the old neighborhood. Shut down, slated for demolition. And what's going to replace it? A Whole Foods. Madness. But really, look at that sky!

Today I had my last PT session. It's almost one year (July 31) since my knee surgery. I'm basically 100%. I have exercises I'm supposed to keep up with. I'm going to be good, I promise, even though last week was a dead loss. I'm supposed to go back in a couple of months for a check in, but basically I'm done. My knees sometimes hurt, but it's the old aches and pains, in both knees. My muscles are rebuilt, I"m able to do any activity I like, it's really all good. Amazing.

So, body is good. Work is good. Now I just have to figure out what I want out of life. Oh that little thing.

Here's a little something I finished knitting recently:

It's a shawl but will I wear it? I don't know. I picked up the "rainbow" yarn in a swap so it cost nothing. I had the white/cream hanging around. I felt compelled to knit it even though I don't know if it will be for me or someone else. Sometimes I have to knit something and its true recipient is revealed later. It was fun to make. Anything with color changes is. I'm working on a few other things at the moment--socks for one niece, socks for Mom, a lace shawl (don't know who that's for either, but probably me), and pair of colorwork fingerless mitts--definitely for me! If it weren't for the knitting, I'd probably be at my wits end. Or blogging a lot more?

Grateful for: a hobby I love.

 

 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Malaise

Years ago, I remember I was delighted to find "malaise" listed as a flu symptom. A condition I'd only regarded as an attitude or enhanced laziness, was, in fact, part of the larger set of symptoms for a truly serious disease. Maybe they meant something else by malaise, but I didn't care.  Today, as I walked from the metro to get my coffee, I feel an overwhelming sense of tiredness. I've been tired for weeks it feels and it crossed my mind that I was more in the malaise realm than the merely tired one. I thought, "maybe I'm coming down with something and should go home and rest." I did rest a lot this weekend, yet I don't feel refreshed. I know extreme tiredness is associated with depression, but I don't think I'm there either. I don't ache. I shower. The house is not clean, but it's fairly orderly. I've started on some of the household tasks I've been avoiding for a while.  I don't feel sad. I don't want to avoid the world. I'm in my normal state...which seems to revert to knitting while watching tv. I really could do that all the time.

******                           *******                                     *******                         *******

I wrote the above a couple of weeks ago. I did pick myself up a bit. I went to show last Friday, solo, and enjoyed it. Took a long bike ride on Saturday. Generally had a pleasant weekend but still got a few things done. This week, I had some massively tired days. Yesterday was ridiculous--I was practically falling asleep at my desk. Today, I feel great. Not great about work, but totally awake and engaged. I'm still slacking off more than I want to. I think part of the problem is that I"m feeling a bit oppressed by my supervision. I am a project manager but I still have to defer to someone--my project director. She's not that involved but sometimes i have to clear things with her, but sometimes I don't. It's confusing and annoying. I think I might enjoy the job more if I really were independent and making the calls myself.  The PD is loosing the reins a bit--but I'm still chaffing at the bit...as it were.

And boys. What can I tell you? A date here, a date there, but it doesn't go anywhere. I'm super frustrated and annoyed. Last night I had the most unpleasant exchange with a guy and it was all the worse because he seemed so promising. He wanted to talk on the phone, which was a nice change. I had a good feeling about him. Sure, he was a bit forward, but that was ok. He called when he said he would, he asked me a lot of questions. I reciprocated and I was starting to get to know him a little. I ignored some warning signs, but it was also kind of fun to consider the rather outrageous things he was suggesting. I didn't make any promises.

How did it fall apart? He drew a line in the sand over a very personal choice about grooming.  I mean, really? This is something we have to talk about? This is a REQUIREMENT? No, just no. What I do with the hair on my body really isn't anyone's business. (I don't ask or want men to remove any of their hair--though a clean shave is appreciated. A beard is great too. It's the stubble I don't like, but that's about comfort.) We had quite discussion about it and I used terms like "the male gaze" and corrected him on improper use of anatomy terms. He seemed to think that I was an outlier--and that my choice was quite unusual. He said that men who'd never expressed any preferences on this count were lying to me. That in all his life, with the hundreds of people he'd asked about this issue, all of them agreed with him. I told him he was shallow. Yeah, I know, not the greatest rhetorical come back. He also wanted to make a bet with me, which he prefaced by saying, "You like money. Everyone likes money. You could use some extra money." His idea was to flag people down in shopping mall and ask them...well, how exactly would he have phrased this question without creeping people out, I don't know, but we didn't get that far. I said that's not how survey research works and I didn't care that much about money. I didn't want his money and I didn't need any extra money. Around then is when he told me that he understood why I was "still" single and was mid-sentence with another insult--so I hung up on him.

My bad for letting things go that far. For talking to him as long as I did. I was genuinely surprised that I would get rejected on these grounds--we hadn't even met yet! But he was asking too much anyway. What he wanted wasn't acceptable, even before my personal grooming choices were discussed. I just don't get it. I found the whole thing off putting and discouraging . It reminded me a bit of that young dude from many years ago who rejected me because I was too fat. He claimed that I would get "higher quality" men if I lost weight. That seemed so nuts to me. I'd get different men, sure. Men who valued thinness overall. I don't expect all men to find me attractive. But I also know that men like all kinds of women. That many men find both thin, medium, and larger women attractive. Hell, I know I find all kinds of men attractive. Let's give men in general that much credit. They aren't purely shallow creatures who only care about looks--or only care about a very specific set of criteria for looks. No. Men are humans, and human desires are wide and varied. And I've met lots of those men, and I'm sure I will meet more.

So thanks horrible internet dude for saving me from having to meet you face-to-face. As it turned out, you wasted less than an hour of my life. And I will count myself lucky because all of my boyfriends have been just fine with how I am in this world. Even if we weren't destined for lasting romance, it wasn't because of how I managed my body. Those men are out there too and I hope I meet another one of them soon.

Grateful for: being comfortable with my choices.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Kick start

Now where did I leave off? I think I'd started my exercise regime. Spring seems to be my time. I'm happy to report that I've been keeping it up. I'm doing the walk/jog routine three times a week. On the other days, I walk or take a short bike ride. I did skip one morning this week, but that day I did all my PT exercies along with a routine of push-ups and sit-ups. I haven't seen tremendous results yet, but I think it is helping. I'm in a good mood and I'm pleased with my consistency. I am still pretty tired each day at work but that should pass if I keep it up. I think I will do well with this through November or whenever we change to standard time. The cold isn't what I find hard to deal with--it's the dark. But if I can keep going trhough November, then I can take a little break over December and probably be no worse for wear. We'll see. I wonder if planning for time off is the way to make my routine a real, permanent aspect of my life, rather than a big push every other year. And then, what happens if I ever get a boyfriend? How will that work? Best not to worry about it--that bridge is a long way off if I ever do cross it. I will keep my intent to stay active. A bit every day, no matter what. It can be a walk, a jog, a bike ride, a hike--whatever.

What else? Boys, dates. Yes, I've had a few. I am keeping track. I made a list and I record all my first dates. Is it a sad state of affairs that pretty much the only dates I have these days are with dudes I meet online? Is that just how it works now? I do things--group bike rides, volunteer activities--but I don't meet single guys. I do talk to people and maybe I'll make friends eventually, which would be great, but these activities have never yielded dates. Even when I did the recreational sports back in the day, through which I did make some friends, I think I only ever dated one person I met that way. I did get some hopeless crushes, so that's something? Yes? No? I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I'm reasonably attractive and all that. I'm feeling impatient about the whole thing. I want to get this settled. I want to have a regular sex life. I want a partner. I'm tired of cooking for myself. I'm tired of struggling to find people to socialize with every weekend. It's so easy for me to just relax into being alone. Is it dangerous? Is it a trap? A much as I'd like a steady boyfriend, I also wish I had a steady friend to hang out with. Someone I could pretty much assume I was going to do something with every week. I have friends, but I don't have that core friendship that plays out into the backbone of a social life. Missing those two things, I might be really unhappy, but I'm not. I reasonably content, but there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in my life. Maybe it's because some of the people I'm closest to live far away (Seattle, Israel, England, Nashville...and other spots!). Maybe it's because I'm not making enough of an effort to reach out to the good friends I have nearby (lazy!). And it is because I want those connections to play a bigger part in my life and right now, they don't. I figure they will again and in the meantime, I have to just keep taking care of myself and get out of the house regularly.

Maybe this is due to my long period of unhappiness at my old job. The haze from that mess is still lifting. The pain is less intense. The only regret I have is staying as long as I did. I am getting used to the new job, I'm learning how to pace myself and not feel overworked. And, finally, I'm starting to enjoy it a bit. I think that's why I'm pretty content despite my not-so-active social life. It could be so much worse. It has been worse. And it's getting better. That feeling goes a long way to making up for not having a best buddy to see every week or even a boyfriend. It could be so much worse.

Grateful for: the new regime.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Life cycle

Other than my dissatisfying dating adventures, I have also been trying to pick up my cycling. I had visions of biking to work when I got my new job, but given the state of my fitness (mediocre) and the lack of convenient shower/changing facilities, I haven't managed it yet. I am taking at least one 15-mile or so ride on Saturday and usually riding at least five miles on Sunday...but that's not really doing it. I suppose it's better than nothing, but I'm so knocked out after my long rides that I know I have a long way to go.  I'm still doing my PT exercises at home and some push-ups and sit-ups, so I'm keeping up a little strength, but my stamina is low.

I want to start walking/jogging again in the mornings. I wake up early enough for this but I have a monstrously difficult time getting myself out of bed before 7am.  Today, I didn't manage that, but I still went ahead and took a nice half-hour walk starting around 7:15. When I got home, I did a few PT exercises, took a shower, and I still could've gotten to the office by 9:30, if only I hadn't started a whole project thing on my computer when I should've been heading for the door. Maybe tomorrow I'll do better.

For my longer bike rides, I've been joining low-pressure organized rides and it's ok. I am often the slowest person, but what can I do? It's vaguely social, which is part of the point. I don't usually have any of those silly dates on the weekend, and my social activities seem kind of thin these days. Not complaining but I can easily spend the whole weekend with minimal social interactions. This seems...unhealthy. So, I pick a bike ride for both the exercise, challenge, and necessity of talking to other humans.

The ride last weekend was quite fun until nearly the end when things started to drag and I realized that I had to hustle to make my next event. (Yes--a social event on a Saturday--it does happen!). The ride was sponsored by the DC Public Library and, in fact, this was the 5th Annual Tour de DCPL.  It was a 14-mile ride and we went from library to library, stopping and taking a look inside most of them. Some stops even had snacks. I was surprised by how much joy I experienced in those libraries. I do love the library, though I rarely visit these days.  Anyway, it was good fun. A bit slow placed (I was never left behind), but with a few hills for a bit of a challenge. I'd say we had maybe 30 riders, which was just about enough for my taste. Those larger fun/social rides make me a bit claustrophobic, which ends up outweighing the social benefit.

Anyway...below, a few pics of the ride!





Grateful for: being physically able again.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The end

Dear reader, I hope I haven't left you in suspense. The story of R, at least for me, has come to an end. After I saw him in the hospital, I continued my practice of sending him one text a day, but for two days he didn't respond. On the third day, he did and the message was that he didn't want to see me anymore. We met at a tumultuous time in his life and he wanted to keep things as simple as possible. He appreciated the help and support, but he was done.

As I've said all along, I had doubts about building an actual romantic-type relationship with R. Our early issues would've been hard to overcome. But I was stunned at his rejection of my friendship--which I'd stated quite clearly was all I expected. Heck, all I wanted was for him to let me help a little. Well, he didn't even want that. I wrote back a long text--and then asked him to at least let me know when he got home. A few days later he sent me a message saying he was home. That's it. I won't contact him again and I guess I won't be hearing from him again either.  The end of one of the most bizarre non-relationships of my life. And that's saying something.

Since I got the old heave-ho, I started dating up a storm. I guess having R and his troubles in the back of my mind was making it a little harder to put myself out there. I've been on three dates in 9 days. What the heck is going on with me? Nothing happened to speak of on these dates beyond decent conversation (a pleasant surprise) and a whole lot of nerves on my behalf (typical). The last date was the most remarkable.

I met this fellow for a drink and we talked for maybe an hour. He walked me home...just a few blocks from the bar, and I invited him in. I was full of nerves, per usual, and I didn't really have anything in mind. I liked his looks and his manner, but I wasn't even sure if I wanted to kiss him, though I was a little more sure than with the previous two guys. We had a little push and pull on the kissing, but I thought it might happen eventually. I went to the bathroom and when I got back he was standing at the door waiting to leave. I was quite astonished. And then I was amused. He sort of shifted back and forth on his feet and muttered about not being ready and said he hoped I didn't hate him. Of course not!  I let him out and we hugged and he gave me a brief peck on the lips. When he got home he texted me and said he wish he'd stayed. I just...I mean, how is this anything but comical? Will I ever see him again? I have no idea. I'm giving him a wide berth in the meantime.  I haven't really learned my lesson about impatience, but with someone this skittish I have to figure that texting him a lot will not help anything.

I talked to a friend about what happened this afternoon and he dubbed my runaway date as "Mr. Confused." Is that a good name? We'll see. At least this time I know it's not me, it's HIM. A thousand times him.

Grateful for: getting back out there.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Why can't we be friends?

Today, I finally visited R in the hospital.  The reactions to this are funny--a lot of friends said it was nice and thoughtful of me. I mean, sure it's nice, but of course--of course I went to visit. He's in the hospital. You visit.  What's confusing is...we're practically strangers.  He's not my friend, he's not my boyfriend. For a moment, I thought he would be my boyfriend, then he withdrew and I freaked out. We were talking and maybe we would've reconnected--but I honestly don't know. Lots of things about him were attractive, but several things weren't. We were still getting to know each other and then BAM, his whole life was thrown for a complete loop. So, you know, confusing. At least for me. I imagine I'm not the first thing on his mind.

Anyway, we were staying in touch as I mentioned in the last post.  On Wednesday he sent me a long text with some details about his condition--they finally had an accurate diagnosis and were starting appropriate treatments. I can't tell you how relieved I was--almost elated.  The next day, he told me he had permission to eat outside food and I said that he had to let me bring him something to eat. Later that same day, he suggested that I come for lunch on Sunday and requested a turkey sandwich.  I went all over the place to get the ingredients--I was going to make the best turkey sandwich lunch ever. Bread, apples, and lettuce from the farmer's market; cold cuts from the Italian deli; and soda, chips, and tomatoes from the Giant.  Yes, I did feel a bit like a crazy person for making such a production out of a turkey sandwich, but what can I do? I am a crazy person.

The visit went fine. At first it was the awkwardness of seeing any friend in the hospital. It was that way when I visited my old boss after he had a terrible accident...when I saw Pele after she had her baby. Your friends, slightly undressed, exposed, drugged, not at their best.  You look away to avoid seeing things you have no business seeing. You don't listen when doctors and nurses ask questions.  In this case, I talked about nothing (work) but didn't try and finish stories. We walked outside to eat lunch--and it was the first time R had been out of doors since he got to the hospital. The weather was lovely; not too warm and a slight breeze blowing. R ate the whole sandwich, a few chips, and drank the soda.  I found out he has a friend coming to help out, and his brother would be back later this week.  I volunteered to help the helpers. Offered to come visit again. Nothing was decided. We took a short walk and I saw R was flagging. We went back to his room, I said I would take off and let him get some rest. I asked if I could give him a hug--he agreed. We hadn't touched at all until then--but it was good. As I was leaving I said, "so awkward" and he agreed. How could he not?

When I left the building, I felt a bit overwhelmed. I wanted to cry. I have been struggling with this feeling about R--like it's not right that I should care. That it's selfish. Is that crazy? Wait--don't answer. Apparently, it's ok to care. I just don't want to make this about me--it's not me who is suffering, drugged, stuck in a hospital for weeks. It's not me...but it is someone I know and it feels bad.  I am glad I saw him. I want to be a friend and I'm glad he is letting me. I know it's hard to let people help, and I hope he lets me do more. At the very least, he could get another delicious turkey sandwich.

Grateful for: friends--especially those have listened to all the crazy iterations of this story.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Try, try, try

A lot has happened since I last wrote. And nothing. First the obligatory work talk.I know I do this when I'm avoiding talking about something a little more sensitive. I continue to struggle to manage the staff on my project. My data analyst couldn't meet her deadline and instead of being clear and up front, she stayed at home and avoided me for two days. Then she blamed my temper for staying home. I have worked so hard to stay calm at work that it's a real slap in the face to hear that she can feel justified using my emotions as a pretext for her actions. Even if it's true, her actions are still problematic. She didn't have permisson to work at home. I also specifically asked her to come in so I could review her work. Since she did tell me she couldn't finish by her Friday deadline, I needed time to review what she'd done so I could finish it out. I told her that I wanted to go over things on Thursday so that I would have time to ask her questions on Friday. Since she's gone the following week, Friday was the last chance for us to do the review. She didn't come in until Friday--and only then because I scheduled a meeting. We met at 9:30 and it went well. Our big manager was there. She let us know that the analyst had all day to work on the project. Around 1pm I discovered an error in her work and talked to her about it. Around 5:45pm I checked in again and asked what progress she made.

That's when I found out that she hadn't done any work on my project at all. She had another project that was more important--and despite the instruction of our manager--she spent most of the day until around 4 or 4:30pm working on that. And by the time I talked her she had maybe spent an hour on my project. I kind of lost it. I definitely had a "tone" in my voice as I asked her why she hadn't worked on my project when our manager had specifically instructed her NOT to work on the other project. Honestly, I was stunned. I figured she'd be wrapping things up by 6pm or so. But no. And then she went and told on me to a different manager who was also working late. I'm sure I could've handled things better, but this analyst has consistently missed deadlines and blamed other people (not just me!) when she doesn't get her work done. The work is ok though there are often lots of little problems to correct. I was really upset about the whole thing. And the work still isn't done, though she sent a bunch of it around 2am. I will have to double check everything next week. Super sigh.

And R, the man I was kind of dating. I'm sure you're all curious about that. Well, it's a terrible story too, though this time, at least, not of my doing. So, he was in touch and we'd made a date for last Thursday. But he also wasn't feeling well when he returned. We postponed to Sunday because he wasn't getting better. I sort of figured Sunday might not work out either. He went to the doctor. He went to the emergency room. He had to cancel the date again. I offfered to come by and just keep him company for a bit, but he said no. The next thing I hear, he's in the hospital. That was about a week ago and he's still there. He's in bad shape and the doctors don't know what's wrong with him. I asked to visit--he said thanks but it was really a "no." I've been sending him one text a day and he gives me an update. I write back and that's it.

R's brother came to town to help him out and today I tracked down the brother's email address and offered assistance. He thanked me but said he had it covered and that R would be in touch when he got home. Well, that's fine--but R has been in touch, he just doesn't need anything from me. I accept that, but I thought I had to make the offer just in case R was being super stoic. Or maybe he just doesn't like me? Oh, who cares. I don't know if we'll even see each other again. Hopefully he'll recover and get back to normal, but he won't be the same. It's not about me and I don't care about the dating part--I want to help. I want to be a friend. I've made the offer, which is what I had to do. And that's all I can do. Still, it's kind of crazy.

I can work on being a better manager. I can try and be a friend. I can try and learn my lesson about dating and anxiety. I don't know how much change I can actually accomplish. But I can try and try and keep on trying. Still, I have to say, I'm not the happiest camper.

Grateful for: more perspective.